Kirill Kaprizov’s contract negotiations with the Minnesota Wild took a surprising turn on Monday. Kaprizov has reportedly reached a tentative agreement on a one-year contract with KHL club CSKA Moscow worth around $10 million. That move could make the 24-year-old winger the subject of trade speculation.
The Wild initially hoped to sign the Calder Trophy winner to a seven- or eight-year contract but are willing to discuss medium-range options. The Athletic’s Michael Russo indicated those long-term offers were worth $9 million annually.
Russo wondered if Guerin will make more offers to Kaprizov or call his bluff. He also raised the possibility of trading the young Russian’s rights but doubts the Wild GM would shop the unsigned winger.
Finding a suitable trade partner with sufficient cap space to accommodate a hefty raise for Kaprizov could be difficult. Cap Friendly indicates there are 11 teams with over $10 million in cap space.
Some, however, have different issues to address. The Columbus Blue Jackets, for example, need a first-line center.
Others still have key players to re-sign. They include the Carolina Hurricanes (Andrei Svechnikov), Ottawa Senators (Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson), New York Islanders (Anthony Beauvillier and Ilya Sorokin) and Vancouver Canucks (Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes).
The Nashville Predators must ensure sufficient cap space to re-sign Filip Forsberg and Mattias Ekholm, who are slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Calgary Flames are in the same boat with Johnny Gaudreau.
The Wild were linked to Buffalo’s Jack Eichel earlier this summer. While an Eichel-for-Kaprizov swaps seems like a good fit, the Sabres could prefer the winger be signed to a long-term contract first. The same goes for the rebuilding Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings.